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Health

Summer Safety Series: 5 of the Most Common Sunscreen Myths DEBUNKED!

What have you been told about sunscreen?

It’s harmful…useless…or unnecessary?

If you’ve felt any of the above sentiments before about sunscreen then chances are you’ve fallen for one of the five most common myths about sunscreen.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. yet practicing sun safety is often overlooked. Remember, it only takes one severe sunburn to potentially double your chances of getting skin cancer in the future.

Health myths can be dangerous and are detrimental to our well-being. Therefore, we’re debunking 5 of the most common myths about sunscreen to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer and to help you understand the importance of applying sunscreen.

5 of the Most Common Sunscreen Myths Debunked  

  • Myth #1 Sunscreen Causes Cancer

Perhaps the most popular myth out there about sunscreen and the reason why many are reluctant to apply sunscreen; sunscreen, in fact, does NOT cause cancer. There is no medical evidence nor has there ever been any medical evidence to suggest sunscreen causes cancer. According to Harvard Health Publishing, most sunscreens contain two active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which act as physical blockers to the sun and do not penetrate the skin’s natural barrier. Applying sunscreen can minimize the harmful long-term effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. You may not know the best sunscreen to use for your child. When choosing a sunscreen, choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Those are the two safest ingredients. Make sure the sunscreen has a sun protection factor of 30 SPC or higher and is labeled broad spectrum. Broad-spectrum means the sunscreen block is both UVA and UVB sunlight.

  • Myth #2 Sunscreen Is Only Necessary When I’m Out in the Sun

One of the biggest misconceptions about sunscreen is it’s only needed when you’re outside in the sun. Sunscreen should be applied every day no matter if you’re indoors or outside on a cloudy day. Sunscreen is vital in protecting your skin against melanoma. When applying sunscreen, make sure you apply sunscreen to all parts of your body exposed to sunlight. Typically, people forget to apply sunscreen to areas of the body such as the face, back of the knees, ears, eyes, neck, and scalp. Be sure to apply sunscreen to those areas as well to protect them from the sun’s UVB Rays. UVB Rays cause sunburns, cataracts, melanoma, and harmful effects on the immune system.

  • Myth #3: Applying Sunscreen Once a Day is Enough

Applying sunscreen once a day is not sufficient. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours with a sun protection factor of 30 SPC or higher every day. The sun’s rays are strongest from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Therefore, try avoiding this time frame when considering spending time outdoors. Or try to stay in the shade when the sun’s rays are at its strongest. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a combination of water, sweat, and sunlight can break down sunscreen’s effectiveness, therefore it’s important to continue to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours especially when you’re in the sun during this time to protect your skin.

  • Myth #4: Only People with Lighter Skin Tones Need Sunscreen

Another common and big misconception about sunscreen is only people with lighter skin types need to apply sunscreen every day. Everyone needs to apply and reapply sunscreen daily no matter your skin type. The American Academy of Dermatology and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provide the following chart which recognizes six skin type categories and answers the question of “Who needs to use sunscreen?”:  

Skin TypeSun HistoryExample
IAlways burns easily, never tans, extremely sensitive skinRed-headed, freckles, Irish/Scots/Welsh II
IIAlways burns easily, tans minimally, sun-sensitive skinFair-skinned, fair-haired, blue, or green-eyed, Caucasians
IIISometimes burns, tans gradually to light brown, sun-sensitive skinAverage skin
IVBurns minimally, always tans to moderate brown, minimally sun sensitiveMediterranean-type Caucasians
VRarely burns, tans well, sun insensitive skinMiddle Eastern, some Hispanics, some African Americans
VINever burns, deeply pigmented, sun insensitive skinAfrican Americans
  • Myth #5: Sun-tanning with Sunscreen Is Safe.

Sun-tanning even if you apply sunscreen is not safe despite the wide common belief that it is. There is NO SAFE WAY to tan. A suntan is the skin’s response to injury from the sun’s rays and occurs when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin’s inner layer which causes the skin to produce more melanin in response to the injury. Keep in mind chronic exposure to the sun can result in sunburn, wrinkling, age spots, or even melanoma. Tanning accumulates further damage to the skin and increases the risk for all types of skin cancer.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Practicing sun safety is the key to maintaining sunburn-free skin and reducing your chances of developing skin cancer.

Be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen daily with a sun protection factor of 30 SPC or higher.

Healthy skin is paramount to good health.

 If you start to develop signs and symptoms of melanoma or sunburn that is more than you can handle, then seek medical care immediately at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

We have 3 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you and your child can stay happy and healthy and prepare for a fun and safe summer, check out our Summer Safety Series.

Have a fun and sunburn free summer! 

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Health

How to Travel Safely This Summer During COVID-19

Want to get away? Need to get away? But unsure if you can or should get away?

If you’re experiencing any of these thoughts or feelings, don’t worry you’re not alone.

Millions of Americans are planning summer vacations and ready to whisk themselves away to some magical place or exotic island with family and friends. Daydreams of quintessential beaches, picturesque mountains, quaint villages and towns, and exhilarating adventures consume our thoughts and leave us eager to plan our next getaway.

But with COVID-19 still a factor, many find themselves asking “Is it safe to travel? How can we ensure safety while traveling with COVID-19?”   

Traveling this summer certainly feels a lot safer than last year but you still may have some concerns. If you’re planning to travel this summer to a U.S. destination or abroad, the CDC recommends you use the following guidelines to ensure safety while traveling with COVID-19:

CDC Travel Guidelines

***These guidelines have been updated as of June 10, 2021***

More than 2/3 of Americans (67%) have plans to travel this summer. As flight plans continue to increase, you may have concerns about staying safe while traveling. The CDC provides the following travel guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated and for those who are not.

Click on the link to read the CDC’s current travel guidelines.

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Health

How to Protect Your Child From an Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

Summer in Texas means 90+degree weather and a typical forecast of non-stop sunshine.

Although sunny skies with hot temperatures may be ideal for children eager to play outside, it’s important for parents to know the risks of being outside with too much sun exposure.

Between 55% and 72% of children are sunburned annually. Only 25%-65% of children use measures such as sunscreen to protect their skin according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Less than 30% of children wear wide-brimmed hats, or protective clothing, or seek shade to protect their skin from sun exposure.

It only takes one severe sunburn to potentially double a child’s chances of getting skin cancer in the future. Therefore, it’s important to know the steps to take to protect a child’s skin from too much unprotected exposure.

Our Senior Director of Pediatrics, Kelly Ann Williams, MSN, CPNP-AC, PNP-BC provides these five vital tips to help your children enjoy their summer activities without getting burned.

Avoid Getting Sunburned With These 5 Tips  

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Yet, practicing sun safety is often overlooked. Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, but most cases of skin cancer can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Apply Sunscreen Early

If you’re tempted to let your child play outdoors in the sweltering heat, make sure to put sunscreen on their skin. Always put sunscreen on your child 15-30 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours while they’re playing outside.

Note: When playing outside, your child should drink plenty of water to keep them hydrated throughout the day and to aid in the prevention of sunburn.

  • Apply Sunscreen to All Parts of the Body

When applying sunscreen, make sure you apply sunscreen to all parts of your child’s body exposed to sunlight. Typically, parents forget to apply sunscreen to areas of the body such as the back of the knees, ears, eyes, neck, and scalp. Be sure to apply sunscreen to those areas, as well, to protect them from the sun’s UVB Rays. UVB Rays cause sunburns, cataracts, melanoma, and harmful effects on the immune system.

Note: When applying sunscreen to your child’s face, make sure to cover their face when spraying sunscreen.

  • Choose the Best Sunscreen

When choosing a sunscreen, choose a sunscreen which contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Those are the two safest ingredients for children. Make sure the sunscreen has a sun protection factor of 30 SPC or higher and labeled broad spectrum. Broad spectrum means the sunscreen block is both UVA and UVB sunlight.

Note: If your child has allergic skin or a skin disorder do not use colored or scented sunscreen.

  • Avoid Times When the Sun Is Strongest

The sun’s rays are strongest from 10:00am-4:00pm. Therefore, try avoiding this time frame when considering taking your child outside to play. Or try to stay in the shade when the sun’s rays are at its strongest. Remember to continue to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if your children are in the sun during this time to protect their skin.

Note: Remember children can still get sunburn even on a cloudy, cool, or overcast days, therefore its important to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

  • Wear Protective Gear

Your child can protect their skin from sun damage by covering up and wearing protective gear. Have your child wear protective clothing such as sunglasses and a hat. Make sure your child’s clothes offer enough protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB Rays. For events outdoors such as a picnic, backyard party, or pool party bring along a wide umbrella or consider using

Note: Due to babies having underdeveloped melanin, their skin burns easily. Therefore, it’s important for babies under the age of 6 months to be kept out of the sun as much as possible and to be fully covered in protective clothing.

When to Seek Medical Attention

No one likes the feeling of sunburn.

It’s painful and can result in redness, blisters, or peeling of the skin.

If your child has a sunburn, apply aloe gel or a cool compress. Additionally, give them Tylenol or Motrin to help relieve any pain or discomfort.

If you notice your child looks ill or starts to feel ill, spikes a fever, or has blisters on the skin, it is important you seek medical care immediately at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

We provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you and your child can stay happy and healthy and prepare for a fun and safe summer, check out our Summer Safety Series.

And remember, if your child has an emergency, we are ready to treat any illness or injury in the comfort of your home with My Trusted Pediatrics. As always, we are “caring for yours as if they were our own.”

Have a fun and sunburn-free summer! 

Categories
Health

Snake Bite Season: How You Can Protect Yourself

It’s summer in Texas which means the sun is out but so are the snakes.

There’s nothing more dreadful than seeing these cold-blooded creatures slither around while you’re enjoying a nice day or evening outdoors. These scaly reptiles are known to run rampant during the summer months as they come out to warm themselves in the sun or on rocks.

Texas is home to many species of snakes who enjoy roaming around in search of food or shelter and chances are you may come across one, even in your backyard. These unwelcomed visitors may startle you and even cause you to panic, especially if you’re bitten by one.

Snakebites in the summer are common, therefore it’s important to learn how to treat them if you are bitten by one. Keep reading to learn about how you can protect yourself from a venomous snakebite.

Snakebites

Every year, nearly 8,000 snakebites happen in the U.S. according to the CDC. Although not all snakebites are venomous, the CDC recommends you treat all snakebites as if they were venomous for safety and visit the nearest ER as quickly as possible.

A trip to the ER, can save your life, especially in cases where you are unsure if you were bitten by a venomous snake.

Texas is home to four kinds of venomous snakes:

  • Coral Snakes

The Coral Snake is red, yellow, and black in color and contains a small mouth. Although they are a shy species of snake and not aggressive, their bites are dangerous, but usually rare. Only one of the species of Coral Snakes are native to Texas.

  • Copperheads

Copperheads belong to a group of venomous snakes called Pit Vipers. Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and Rattlesnakes are all called pit-vipers because they have a pit near each nostril. Their nostrils are highly sensitive to heat which helps the snakes locate warm-blooded prey. They are gray or brown in color with a copper-colored head and are great at camouflaging with leaves and forest grounds.

  • Cottonmouths                                                                                                 

Also known as the water moccasin, these types of snakes are found generally near water. Their habitat includes swamps, ponds, lakes, ditches, canals, and marshes along the Gulf Coast and are more prominent in East and Central Texas. This species of snake can grow to be nearly 6 six feet and are very defensive and aggressive reptiles. They can bite underwater and when threatened will open its mouth to show its fangs which is white and cotton like in color.

  • Rattlesnakes

There are nine kinds of rattlesnakes found in Texas. Before striking, rattlesnake will usually rattle if they feel threatened. However, in some cases, they may strike immediately. They are more active at night when they hunt for prey such as mice, rats, and rabbits.

Signs & Symptoms of Venomous Bites

These are the most common symptoms of venomous snakebites:

  • Bloody wound discharge
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clotting
  • Fang marks in skin
  • Severe pain at the bite site
  • Skin discoloration
  • Burning sensation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness and tingling in mouth
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid pulse
  • Paralysis

Snakebite Treatment

If you’ve been bitten by a snake, seek medical attention right away for snakebite treatment. It is very critical you respond quickly if you or someone you know has been bitten by a snake. While waiting for emergency help, do the following:

  • Wash the bite with soap and water
  • Keep the bitten area still
  • Monitor breathing and heart rate
  • Cover the bite site with a cool compress
  • Remove any jewelry near bite site in case of swelling
  • Record details regarding type of snake including its size, color, and any other helpful details you can remember
  • Record details regarding the time the bite occurred, the time of the initial reaction, and if possible, draw a circle around the bite site to mark the progression of time

Note: When a snake bite occurs, it is very important you DO NOT do the following:

  • DO NOT apply a tourniquet
  • DO NOT try to suck the venom out
  • DO NOT ingest any alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or any other medications

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you’ve been bitten by a snake and begin showing signs and symptoms of a snakebite or infection, seek medical attention immediately at one of our Trusted ER locations near you. Remember, treatment of snakebites is more effective if begun right away.

We have 3 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Snakebite Prevention

If you spend time lots of time outdoors hiking or camping, or in picnic areas, or live in snake-inhabited areas, you may come in contact with a snake.

However, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of being bitten by a snake. To avoid snake bites, do the following:

  • Avoid tall grass areas

Stay out of tall grassy areas to avoid being bitten by a snake. Cover up by wearing thick leather boots when walking in tall grassy areas. This will protect you in case of accidentally stepping on a snake in the woods. Remember to try and remain on hiking paths as much as possible when hiking or walking in wooded areas.

  • Leave the snakes alone

If you spot a snake, do not mess with the snake, or try to kill the snake. Even if the snake, appears to be dead, do not try to touch or disturb the snake. Snakes generally do no attack unless they feel threatened. For this reason, many people are bitten as a result of getting too close to a snake or trying to kill a snake. Therefore, leave the snakes alone. 

  • Do not pick up rocks or firewood with your bare hands

When hiking or climbing, it’s important to protect your hands by keeping them out of areas you cannot see. Do not pick up any rocks, firewood, or other things on the ground unless you are out of a snake’s distance to strike. Additionally, always be cautious and alert while hiking or climbing rocks.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you can stay happy and healthy and prepare for a fun and safe summer, check out our Summer Safety Series. And remember, if you or someone you know has an emergency, we are here for you and are ready to treat any illness or injury.

Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.” 

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Health

Summer Safety Series: Tips to Keep Your Child Hydrated All Summer Long

Summer is here, meaning more time outdoors and more time in the sun. Whether your kids are playing outside or attending summer camp, it’s important to ensure they stay hydrated while enjoying the summer weather.

In honor of National Hydration Day, we are sharing three essential tips parents need to know to ensure their child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated all summer long.

3 Tips to Keep Your Child Hydrated

Here are three key tips to ensure your child has a safe, fun, and hydrated summer:

1. Give them plenty of water

Drinking water is an absolute must for children. Be sure to give them plenty of water throughout the day as they enjoy their outdoor activities. Do not wait for your child to tell you they’re thirsty before giving them water to drink. Keep in mind, by the time children say they are thirsty, they are already 3% dehydrated. Instead, give them 2-3 ounces of water per day, per pound of body weight. This suggests a maximum of 8-10 cups per day. This will help them stay hydrated and decrease the risk of your child becoming dehydrated.

Note: It’s important to not give infants water for hydration. Babies under the age of 1-year-old stay hydrated with breast milk or formula.

2. Drink water before and during activities

Active kids should drink 30 minutes before an activity and every 20 minutes during an activity. This will help ensure their body remains hydrated. For children who struggle to drink water, try giving it some flavor and color. For example, try infusing water with fruits such as lemons, limes, or berries.

3. Make water easily accessible

Water should always be easily accessible for children. Make sure you’re prepared by having readily available reusable bottles for your child to drink while playing.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

As a parent, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Remember, dehydration occurs when your child loses more fluids than they take in. If those fluids are not replaced, your child will become dehydrated. The two major signs and symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Decreased or dark-colored urine
  • Dizziness or lethargy

Note: If your child starts to feel lethargic, seek emergency care immediately at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

W we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you and your child can stay hydrated and prepare for a safe “cool” summer, check out our Summer Safety Series.

And remember, if your child has an emergency, we are ready to treat any illness or injury in the comfort of your home with My Trusted Pediatrics. As always, we are “caring for yours as if they were our own.”

Have a fun and hydrated summer! 

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Health

Summer Safety Series: How to Treat Your Child’s Bug Bites or Stings

Summer is here and it’s buzzing with bugs.

June marks the beginning of summer as we enter a new season of life outdoors. From playdates at the park to trips to the zoo, to pool parties, camping and fishing trips, summer sports, and more, children have a plethora of reasons to embrace the outdoors.

However, the time children spend enjoying the outdoors is often ephemeral.

With the sunny days and warm weather comes many unwanted visitors: bugs. Bugs such as mosquitoes, bees, and spiders are known to run rampant during the summer months.

These pests are typically nothing more than mere annoyances but if bitten or stung by one, can be a cause for concern.

Bug bites and stings can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, illnesses, and even diseases, therefore it’s important to know how to treat them. Our Senior Director of Pediatrics, Kelly Ann Williams, MSN, CPNP-AC, PNP-BC shares these essential tips on how to care for your child with bug bites or stings.

Tips on How to Treat Bug Bites and Stings

Bug bites and stings are common and generally harmless.

However, did you know bites and stings can cause serious allergic reactions or life-threatening illnesses?

Sometimes, bug bites and stings are just inevitable but as a parent we want you to feel prepared in knowing how to treat them if/when they do occur. Here’s how to treat your child’s bug bites:

Treating Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites are the most common bug bites children get during the summer months. They are known to cause slight pain and discomfort due to the itchiness as a result of the bite. The skin around the bite will generally become red and is accompanied by a strong urge to scratch the infection site. Typically, the itchiness goes away at the end of the day.

Mosquito bites are relatively easy to treat however, there are cases where mosquito bites may warrant a serious case for concern. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases through their bites such as West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, and Malaria.  In the U.S., West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease with 1 out of every 150 infected people developing a serious or sometimes fatal illness from the bite.

Signs and symptoms from someone infected with the West Nile Virus can range from and include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, skin rash, fever, stiff neck, paralysis, and can even lead to a coma. To protect yourself from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, use insect repellent and cover-up by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent bites. If you suspect you or your child has been infected with West Nile Virus, seek medical attention immediately from one of our Trusted ER locations.

Mosquito Bite Care

When treating mosquito bites, here’s what you should do:

Wash them with soap and warm water

Always wash the mosquito bite with soap and warm water to cleanse the affected area. Washing the bite will help prevent infection and itchiness from occurring.

Give Tylenol, Motrin, or Benadryl

Mosquito bites often cause slight pain and discomfort and OTC meds such as Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl can help reduce the pain and discomfort from the bite as well as reduce swelling and inflammation.

Use topical anti-itch to control pain and itching

Is your child itching like crazy and can’t seem to stop scratching? Apply a topical anti-itch cream to help control the pain and prevent your child from scratching. Your child may find relief from calamine lotion or a topical anti-itch cream to relieve irritation and discomfort from the urge to scratch.

Apply an ice pack                                    

Try applying an ice pack or cold compress to help soothe the pain and reduce the swelling. Cold compresses are great for relieving and soothing pain from an inflamed area of the skin. Hold the ice pack over the affected area for a few minutes to provide temporary relief.

Important: Make sure your child’s fingernails are short and remind them not to scratch the affected area. Scratching the bite with fingernails can cause further inflammation and the bacteria under their fingernails can get cause into the affected area and lead to infection.

Treating Spider Bites

Spider bites are common in Texas and although spiders try to avoid us as much as we avoid them, if they feel threatened, they will bite. If your child has been bitten by a spider, it’s important to be swift and treat the bite site to reduce the chance of infection. If you are unsure if your child was bitten by a venomous spider, seek medical care immediately to identify the species of the spider.

Texas is known for two venomous spiders: the black widow and the brown recluse. These two spiders can be found indoors and outdoors and are especially dangerous.

The Black Widow Spider is typically identified by its jet-black color and is frequently found in boxes, outdoor toilets, and woodpiles. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, its venom is 15 times more toxic than the venom of a prairie rattlesnake. Children and older adults are especially at risk for more severe reactions. Symptoms from a Black Widow Spider bite include abdominal cramping, convulsions, headaches, lesion at the site of the bite, profuse sweating, vomiting, tremors, and unconsciousness.

The Brown Recluse Spider is typically identified by its golden-brown color and its fiddle-shaped pattern on its head region. These spiders are found in basements, garages, boards, boxes, old towels, and clothes in dark, undisturbed areas. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, a bite from the brown recluse spider can cause chills, fever, nausea, fatigue, necrosis at the bite site, weakness, and a red, white, and blue lesion at the bite site.

Black widow or brown recluse. Use soap and water to wash, apply a cold compress, and seek attention immediately. Get attention right away if you notice, visible skin rash or swelling. Swelling or pain lasts more than 3 days. Wheezing or struggle to breathe, tightness in throat or chest, swelling of lips, tongue, or face, dizziness, or fainting, nausea or vomiting, seek medical care immediately.

Important: If you have any reason to suspect your child has been bitten by the Black Widow Spider or Brown Recluse Spider, use soap and water to wash the affected area, apply a cold compress, and take your child to the nearest Trusted ER. Even if your child does not show any signs of symptoms, get medical attention right away.

Spider Bite Care

When treating a non-venomous spider, here’s what you should do:

Wash them with soap and warm water 2-3x per day

Wash the mosquito bite with soap and warm water to cleanse the affected area at least 2-3x per day. Washing the bite will help prevent infection and itchiness from occurring.

Give Tylenol or Motrin

Spider bites can be painful and cause discomfort. Over-the-counter meds (OTC) such as Tylenol or Motrin can help reduce the pain and discomfort from the bite as well as reduce swelling and inflammation.

Apply cool compresses                            

Try applying a cool compress to help soothe the pain and reduce the swelling. Cool compresses are great for relieving and soothing pain from the bite site. Hold the cool compress over the affected area for a few minutes to provide temporary relief.

Apply an antibiotic ointment

Antibiotic ointment can help reduce your child’s risk of getting an infection from the bite and speed up the healing process. The antibiotic ointment can provide relief and allow the bite site to heal faster.

Treating Bee Stings

One of the most common types of injuries children experience during the summer months are bee stings. Bee stings can be extremely painful and can sometimes cause an allergic reaction. Children are at a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to insect stings.

Like spiders, bees typically only “attack” or sting when they feel threatened, as a sign of defense. When a bee’s stinger penetrates your skin, its venom is released into your body and sets off the body’s pain receptors.

Common symptoms of a bee sting include swelling, redness, itchiness, and pain at the sting site. Additionally, bee stings can also cause severe allergic reactions in some children. If you think your child is experiencing an allergic reaction, seek medical attention right away.

The venom from a bee sting can potentially trigger deadly anaphylaxis if not treated right away. Therefore, it’s important you monitor your child’s symptoms and reactions to the bee sting. Symptoms such as light-headedness, trouble breathing, and swallowing are signs of anaphylaxis and warrant a trip to the ER. According to WebMD, in the U.S., there are roughly 40 fatal allergic reactions to bees and other insect stings each year.

Bee Sting Care

When treating mild bee stings, here’s what you should do:

Remove stinger quickly

A bee will usually leave behind a stinger, attached to a venom sack. Try to remove the stinger as quickly as possible in a scraping motion without pinching the venom sack at the end.

Wash them with soap and warm water

Wash the bee sting with mild soap and warm water at least 2-3 times a day until the skin is healed. This will help cleanse the affected area and help prevent infection and further inflammation.

Give Tylenol, Motrin, or Benadryl

These over-the-counter medications (OTC) can help reduce itchiness. If your child is experiencing pain or discomfort from the itchiness of the sting, try one of these OTC meds to help alleviate the pain and itchiness.

Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream

Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to ease the redness, itchiness, or swelling in the sting site. The lotion or cream may help your child fight the urge to scratch the infected area as well as reduce pain from the sting. Your child should avoid scratching the area at all costs to prevent further damage or infection.

Apply an ice pack                                    

Try applying an ice pack or cold compress to help soothe the pain and reduce the swelling from the sting. Cold compresses are great for relieving and soothing pain from an inflamed area of the skin. Hold the ice pack over the affected area for a few minutes to provide temporary relief. 

Important: A sting anywhere in the mouth area needs immediate medical attention. A sting in the mouth area can quickly cause severe swelling which may block the airway. Seek care right away if your child has been stung in the mouth area for proper care and treatment.

When to Seek Medical Attention

With any bite or sting, seek immediate medical attention if you notice a large skin rash or swelling around the bite or sting site. Or, if swelling or pain lasts more than 3 days which could be signs of an infection.

If your child experiences wheezing or trouble breathing, tightness in throat or chest, swelling of lips, tongue, or face, dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, it is important you seek medical care immediately at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

We have 3 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you and your child can stay happy and healthy and prepare for a fun and safe summer, check out our Summer Safety Series.

And remember, if your child has an emergency, we are ready to treat any illness or injury in the comfort of your home with My Trusted Pediatrics. As always, we are “caring for yours as if they were our own.”

Have a fun and bug bite-free summer! 

Categories
Health

Summer Safety Series: How to Prevent Drowning Accidents

Summer is here which means Texas heat and more people looking for ways to cool off. With children out of school for summer break, many parents and children will be looking for fun and entertainment in an area where they can cool off such as at the pool, lake, or waterpark.

Drowning accidents and other injuries such as a slip and fall from the wet or slippery ground can occur if we’re not careful. Therefore, it’s important to always practice water safety.

Here are 3 water safety tips to help you prepare for the summer:

1.) Supervision at all times

Never leave your little ones unsupervised while swimming in the pool, lake, or playing in the waterpark. Remember, children must always be under supervision whenever they’re around water. Younger children are at a greater risk as they can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Keep young children within arm’s reach while they are swimming. Older children should always swim with a buddy for safety purposes. Keep in mind even children who may know how to swim are still at risk for drowning, so be sure to watch them closely anytime they are near water.

2.) Establish safety rules

Always establish water safety rules with your children to protect them from serious injuries such as a slip and fall or drowning. Children should always learn water survival skills before swimming. It’s important for children to be able to step into water and return to the surface, float or tread water for at least 1 minute, and turn around in a full circle and find an exit. While swimming in a pool or lake or playing at the waterpark, let your children know they should never do the following:

  • Run or push each other
  • Swim or play during bad weather, especially lightening
  • Dive in areas that are not permitted for diving
  • Swim in areas where the water is too deep

Lastly, all parents should know how to give their children CPR. CPR may help you save a child’s life.

3.) Water safety equipment on board

It’s always a great idea to have water safety equipment ready for use especially for children who are young swimmers. Inflatable flotation devices such as vests, pool noodles, rafts, tubes, and water wings can help protect your child while swimming or playing in the water and provide an extra sense of security. However, it is important to note that these devices will not PREVENT a child from drowning but can be used for protection to help them float. Never use water safety equipment as a substitute for supervision. An adult should always be present no matter what.

Summer Safety Series

For more in-depth tips on how you and your child can practice water safety and prepare for a safe “cool” summer, check out our Summer Safety Series.

And remember, if your child has an emergency, we are ready to treat any illness or injury in the comfort of your home with My Trusted Pediatrics. As always, we are “caring for yours as if they were our own.”

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Health

Ticks & Lyme Disease: How You Can Protect Yourself

Tick season is fast approaching, which means these tiny parasitic arachnids will be gearing up for opportunities to attack.

During the spring and summer seasons, ticks are known to run rampant throughout Texas, looking for ways to reproduce. Found mostly outdoors in grass, trees, shrubs, and leaf piles, ticks require warm temperatures and high humidity to survive.

These blood-sucking creatures look for hosts to attach themselves too such as humans and animals. Once attached, they bite into the skin, draw blood, and then molt. Just one tick bite can cause an allergic reaction and lead to long-term health issues.

Lyme disease is caused by tick bites and can result in severe health problems if not treated. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are typically between 50-275 human cases of Lyme disease reported in Texas annually.

Trusted ER Texoma Medical Director, Dr. Benjamin Blake, spoke with KTEN NBC and ABC news reporter Baylee Bates and revealed the most common indication of Lyme disease after a tick bite.

It’s important to know how to protect yourself from tick bites during the hot, humid seasons. Keep reading to learn more about Lyme Disease and how you can steer clear of the debilitating disease.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease was first identified in 1984 in Texas. Approximately, 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year according to the CDC. So, what is Lyme disease and why is it so prevalent?

What is Lyme Disease?

“Lyme disease is an infection that gets into the bloodstream from a micro-organism attached to a tick; basically the tick has a parasite, and when the tick bites someone they spread the parasite to the person,” said Dr. Benjamin Blake, the medical director at Trusted ER Texoma.

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but prefer warmer moist areas such as armpits, the scalp, and groin. According to the CDC, ticks need to be attached for 36 to 48 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease bacteria.

Once transmitted, the disease generally appears in stages. You may begin to develop early signs and symptoms of the disease which can vary. You may notice a small, red bump which appears at the site of the tick bite. If left untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may develop and progress into severe consequences.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Some of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Eye inflammation
  • Heart problems
  • Liver problems
  • Neurological problems

People who show early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, often report experiencing a rash accompanied with flu-symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. The rash may appear generally from 3 to 30 days after the infected tick bite and may rapidly spread all over the body. It can extend to other parts of the body including the legs, joints, heart, and nervous system. The rash may be warm to touch but is typically not itchy or painful.

People who show later signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, often report experiencing severe muscle or join pain accompanied by heavy swelling. You may notice swelling in areas such as your knees or lymph nodes. If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress into serious neurological problems. The infection can cause meningitis, Bell’s palsy, paralysis, liver inflammation, eye inflammation, or even heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat.

Tick Bite Prevention

To prevent tick bites, it is generally recommended that you do the following things when outdoors:

  • Cover up

When outdoors, especially in wooded or grassy areas, be sure to wear long sleeves and long pants which cover your body to further protect you from tick bites.

  • Insect repellents and pesticides

Spraying pesticides and using insect repellents can limit ticks in your area. Opt for any insect repellent with a 20% or higher concentration of DEET to your skin.

  • Remove the tick asap

If you notice a tick on your skin, it’s important to remove the tick as soon as possible with tweezers. Grab the tick gently with tweezers near its head or mouth and remove it by flushing it down the toilet. Apply antiseptic to the bite area to clean it.  

Treatment for Lyme Disease

If you’ve been bitten by a tick and start to develop symptoms, schedule a visit with your primary care physician immediately. Your physician may perform a blood test, generally three or four weeks after the suspected contract to determine if the disease is present. Monitoring and treating your tick bite early are key in preventing Lyme disease.

“The biggest thing I think to remember is: If you have a tick bite, then you notice a very strange rash around that tick bite — it looks like a bullseye sign — that’s 70 to 80 percent of patients that develop Lyme disease will have that rash,” said Dr. Blake.

Keep in mind that most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics if detected early. Remember, the longer the tick remains attached, the greater your risk of developing Lyme disease.

How Can Trusted ER Help You?

If you’ve been bitten by a tick and begin showing signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, seek medical attention immediately. Remember, early treatment of Lyme disease is more effective than treating it late. You can receive emergency care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

At Trusted Medical, we are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury. We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care.

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.” 

Categories
Health

Trusted ER Pilots HanGenix™ Technology With Goal of Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance in Healthcare Settings

Trusted ER, one of DFW’s most innovative emergency room healthcare providers, has announced a new partnership with HanGenix™ Solutions, Inc., (HanGenix™), an industry-leading provider of transformational technology for hand hygiene compliance, to enhance patient safety by reducing healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in healthcare settings.

According to the CDC, nearly 2 million patients suffer from HAIs in the U.S. annually and nearly 100,000 of them die each year as a result. The leading cause of HAIs is the failure of healthcare workers to wash their hands. To combat this, HanGenix™ uses an ultrasound-based hand hygiene detection technology that reduces the risk of infection through proactive notification. Its system creates Patient Protection Zones, which dictate proper hand hygiene in accordance with industry guidelines, prior to patient contact.

While Trusted ER does not have an issue with infections in its facilities, the company’s leadership views the pilot program as yet another way the healthcare organization goes the extra mile to keep their patients safe.

“This new partnership comes at a time when hand hygiene compliance remains critical,” Trusted Medical CEO, Lori Guerrero, MBA, MHA, RN. “We are more than excited and looking forward to working together to strengthen and promote the health and wellbeing of our patients while educating our staff and team members to ensure safety and efficiency.”

“We are so excited Trusted Medical has chosen to implement HanGenix™ systems in their Trusted ER facilities,” says HanGenix™ CEO Jeff Kline. “Trusted is piloting our technology to promote the health and safety of their patients and healthcare providers through had hygiene compliance. We’re confident this technology will be met with education and new processes that will improve the patient experience, reduce risk of HAI’s, and help drive accountability and behavioral change in healthcare workers.”

Clinicians are notified, in real-time, if they have broken hand-hygiene protocol. Now, HanGenix™ is helping to drive accountability and behavioral change in healthcare workers. 

As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of hand hygiene compliance remains critical. HanGenix™ supports the health, safety, and well-being of healthcare organizations and their employees by promoting, monitoring, improving, and reporting hand hygiene compliance.

Through its innovative approach, HanGenix™ offers healthcare providers an easy and convenient solution to implement and execute hand hygiene programs that reduce the risk of HAIs.

As HAIs continue to be on the rise amid the pandemic, Trusted Medical’s commitment to patients and their safety through its strategic partnership with HanGenix™ continues to be a top priority.

“Patient safety is always our top priority,” said President and co-founder Harvey Castro, MD. “It’s also a continuous process. With that being said, we are 110% committed to not only developing but finding unique and innovative solutions to enhance and improve our quality of care and efficiency here at Trusted. We are thrilled about this partnership and look forward to our future together.”

About HanGenix™ Solutions, Inc.

Atlanta-based HanGenix™ is a digital healthcare solutions company with a simple, effective ultrasound-based monitoring system, designed to improve hand hygiene compliance that delivers accurate, robust, and insightful data through real-time feedback prior to patient contact. The company’s vision is to transform the means by which healthcare providers prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections through the use of technology in order to save lives and avoid unnecessary healthcare costs. The HanGenix™ System originated at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in response to their challenges with accurately measuring hand hygiene compliance. Ron Newbower, PhD, Harvard faculty member and strategic advisor, and Mike Dempsey, MIT faculty member and entrepreneur in residence with the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), developed the ultra-sound-based technology after recognizing the limitations of current protocols and other technologies for hand hygiene monitoring. For more information about HanGenix™, go to https://www.hangenixsolutions.com/.

Categories
Health

Lifestyle Changes: 4 Habits To Help Your Neck Pain

Are you experiencing neck pain, stiffness, or discomfort that’s interfering with your daily activities?

If so, you’re not alone.

20% to 70% of adults experience neck pain in their lifetime. Neck pain can develop for a plethora of reasons, such as your lifestyle – depending on whether it’s sedentary or active – or from injuries as a result of a car accident, work, or a slip and fall.

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Many of us underestimate our lifestyle and the amount of stress it can put on our neck, often leading to serious conditions, posture problems, and in severe cases, a trip to the ER. Most neck pain is a direct result of our everyday habits leading to muscle strains and tension.

If you’re experiencing severe neck pain, our physicians at Trusted ER can help treat your neck pain and determine the source of your pain. Here are 4 habits to help your neck pain:

4 Habits to Help Your Neck Pain

1. Fix Your Sleep

Did you know your sleeping position may be the cause of your neck pain? Sleeping in the wrong position can not only lead to neck pain or lower back pain but also increases your risk of sleep apnea. According to Harvard Health, poor sleeping posture can lead to stiffness, strain, or severe neck pain. Changing your sleep position can make a major difference in the quality of sleep you experience at night. Try these three sleep positions to improve your quality of sleep at night and reduce your risk of neck pain.

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2. Cell Phone Posture

While using our mobile phones and checking our notifications, most of us are not concerned with our posture. However, looking down for long periods of time at our phones can cause neck pain and fatigue. It’s important not to slouch or slump while looking down at your phone. Be sure to keep the phone at eye level to avoid damaging your posture. After all, poor posture can put unnecessary extra pressure on your neck, back, and shoulders, creating serious alignment issues. Practicing proper posture is important and plays a major role in the prevention of recurring neck pain.

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3. Adjust Your Computer

Office jobs are predominantly sedentary, meaning office workers are at an increased risk for neck and muscle stiffness. Sitting for long periods of time while working on a computer can cause more tension in your neck. For example, if your computer screen is too low, this forces your neck muscles to overwork while looking down and puts more strain on them. Be sure to bring your computer screen to eye level to relieve tension. Or try putting books under your laptop to raise your computer screen.

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4. Stretch More Often

Keeping your neck muscles strong and flexible can help relieve soreness. Whether you are on your feet or have a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to stretch throughout the day. Try doing small neck stretches throughout the day to prevent neck stiffness or soreness. If you’re looking for a neck stretch exercise, webmd.com recommends the forward and backward tilt among others. In this exercise, gently tilt your head forward and backward slowly while holding it in each tilt position for 15-30 seconds. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting several times a day.  

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How Can Trusted ER Help You?

Remember, our every day habits can cause or worsen our neck pain. By making these 4 small lifestyle changes, you can reduce your chance of neck tension and stiffness.

However, if you’re experiencing chronic neck pain that does not seem to go away or become too much to bear, be sure to seek care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you.

At Trusted Medical, we are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury. We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care.

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.”